Earn Skywards Miles on your everyday purchases and redeem flights and rewards with an Emirates credit card.
While Emirates, one of the world’s leading airlines, doesn’t issue its own credit cards, it partners with a few banks around the world to provide co-branded credit cards for Emirates Skywards frequent flyers. In Australia, you can get a credit card that lets you earn Skywards Miles directly as you spend or one that allows you to convert your rewards points into Skywards Miles.
Either way, once you have accumulated enough miles, you can redeem them for rewards including flights and upgrades with Emirates and its partners, gift vouchers and merchandise. As well as the ability to earn and redeem Skywards Miles, an Emirates credit card may offer other benefits such as airport lounge access, complimentary insurance covers and additional cards.
Emirates Credit Card Offer
Enjoy up to 10% off Emirates flights, earn Skywards Miles for every $1 spent and a discounted annual fee of $149 for the first year.
- $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) annual fee
- 20.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.74% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $75,000 p.a.
Comparison of Emirates Credit Cards
What types of credit cards offer Emirates Skywards Miles?
Depending on the credit card you choose, you could either earn Skywards Miles as you spend with a direct earn credit card, or convert accumulated rewards points into Skywards Miles with an indirect earn credit card.
Direct earn credit cards
At present, the only direct earn Emirates credit card available in Australia is the Emirates Citi World MasterCard. The perks of this card include:
- Earning 1 Skywards Mile for every $1 spent on eligible domestic purchases up to $3,000 per statement period, and then 0.5 Skywards Mile per $1 spent up to $10,000 in that period.
- Earning 1.25 Skywards Miles for every $1 AUD spent on eligible international purchases.
- Earning 1.5 Skywards Miles for every $1 AUD spent on airline tickets purchased online at the Emirates website.
- Two annual complimentary lounge passes for the primary cardholder at any Emirates lounge in Australia when booked on an Emirates flight.
- One annual complimentary chauffeur-driven service to and from the airport when booked on an Emirates flight.
- Complimentary international travel insurance and interstate flight inconvenience insurance.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Gold membership upgrade.
- World Golf benefits.
If you’re looking for an Emirates direct earn credit card, you can sign up for the Emirates Citi World MasterCard now and enjoy up to 10% off flights if you book before 31 December 2016. You will also enjoy a discounted $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) and 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 9 months.
Indirect earn credit cards
If you’re looking for an indirect earn credit card which gives you the option to either redeem your rewards with a credit card rewards program or convert them to Skywards Miles, American Express offers a range of Membership Rewards credit cards that allow you to do just that.
The transfer rate for your points conversion currently stands at: 4 American Express Membership Rewards Points = 3 Emirates Skywards Miles. Use the table below to compare the American Express cards that let you transfer your Membership Rewards for Emirates Skywards Miles.
Comparison of credit cards that earn Emirates Skywards Miles indirectly
Note that it takes approximately one business day for the points transfer to be processed. You must also transfer a minimum of 2,000 points or any amount exceeding that in multiples of four.
How to compare Emirates credit cards
You should consider the following factors when considering an Emirates credit card:
- Earn rate. Each card has a different Skywards Miles earn rate that you should consider in relation to the annual fee. Keep in mind that cards with higher earn rates often come with higher annual fees. For instance, the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card has an annual fee of $195 but allows you to earn 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and 2 points per $1 spent at major petrol stations, in addition to the standard 1 point per $1 earn rate everywhere else. Also remember that Membership Rewards will have to be converted to Skywards Miles with an American Express card.
- Interest rates. This is something you should strongly consider if you intend to carry a balance on your credit card, because interest fees can snowball and accumulate dramatically over time. If you habitually pay off your monthly balances, these interest rates would not be such a major factor.
- Annual fee. The annual fees for these cards range quite widely, from $0 p.a. for the American Express Essential Credit Card to $1,200 p.a. for the American Express Platinum Card. Make sure that these costs don’t outweigh the value you get from your rewards.
- International transaction fee. Most of these cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee but the Emirates Citi World MasterCard charges 3.4%, which might matter if you plan to use the card overseas.
- Other fees. There are some other miscellaneous fees that you should take note of when choosing a card, including late payment fees, over limit and dishonour fees, as well as cash advance fees and other transactional fees. Similar to the annual fee, consider how you usually use your card to make sure these costs don’t offset the value of the rewards.
- Complimentary extras. Consider a card’s perks in relation to your own lifestyle and habits. For example, do you need complimentary travel insurance or are you more of the stay-at-home sort? Would you pay $1,200 per year for platinum concierge services that you might not use?
What to be wary of when comparing Emirates credit cards
When comparing your options, be careful to consider:
- Sign-up offers. Some sign-up offers are enticing with their freebies, but do give long-term factors more weight in your consideration if you’re planning to use a card for some time. For example, you may receive a bigger sign-up bonus with a card that charges a higher interest rate, and the interest fees you end up paying in the long term can easily outweigh the one-time points bonus you enjoyed.
- Promotional balance transfer offers. This is important if you plan on transferring an outstanding balance from another card. Promotional balance transfer offers usually provide 0% interest rates on your balance transfer for a fixed term, but this rate reverts to the higher cash advance rate once the promotional period is over. This can result in very high interest fees if you’re not careful. Also check to see if there is a balance transfer fee.
How to apply for an Emirates credit card
Applying for an Emirates credit card is easy. All you need is a working internet connection and around 15 minutes to fill out an online application form. First, however, you need to make sure you’re eligible:
- Age. The general age requirement for these credit cards is 18 year old.
- Residency. You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply.
- Income. The income requirement for each card differs, so please check each credit card page for its specific income requirement.
If you meet these requirements, you can apply online by filling out a form. You will be asked to provide personal information including your name, address and identification details, employment and financial details, as well as your requested credit limit. For both American Express and Citi online credit card applications, you will receive a response in 60 seconds after submitting your form.
With so many options for earning Skywards Miles, you may have a hard time deciding which is the most suitable credit card for you. Remember that what is right for someone else may not be right for you, so you should always compare a card’s features with your personal spending habits, lifestyle needs and goals.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to be an Emirates Skywards member to earn Skywards points through a credit card?
Yes, you do. For direct earn credit cards, the miles you earn will be automatically credited to your linked Skywards account. For indirect earn credit cards, you will be required to provide your Emirates Skywards frequent flyer account details and submit a request to convert your points. Joining the Emirates Skywards program is simple, and you don’t have to pay a fee.
Can I get an additional card and would it earn miles as well?
This essentially depends on the credit card and the credit card issuer in question. You can usually apply for additional cards, and there’s a very good chance that the additional cardholder(s) can also earn miles to be credited to your frequent flyer account. Note that some cards may charge an annual additional cardholder fee for this option.
When and how many miles would I earn when I use my card?
You earn Skywards miles when you use your credit card to make eligible purchases in Australia and overseas. Your miles earn rate depends on the card you’re using and what you’re purchasing. Credit cards often have different earn rates for different types of purchases.
What can I get for my miles apart from flight tickets?
You can use your accumulated miles for flight upgrades, or redeem them for a variety of store products and travel-related services including car rental and hotel accommodations. You can also put the miles towards popular sporting and cultural events, or even donate them to a charity.
How do I make use of the chauffeur-driven transfer?
Purchase your Emirates flight ticket using your Emirates card, then make your booking with the Emirates reservation office a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure. Mileage restrictions may apply, and the maximum capacity per car is two adults, two suitcases and one carry-on bag. Extra charges may apply if a larger car or infant car seat is requested. This service is only available if you fly on a Emirates-operated flight number and aircraft, and excludes Trans-Tasman flights, Skywards Miles redemption tickets, travel industry tickets and group bookings. See the Emirates Citi World MasterCard webpage for more details.
Can I use my Skywards Miles to redeem flights other than with Emirates?
Yes, you can use your Skywards Miles towards eligible flight with Emirates partner airlines. These include Air Mauritius, Alaska Airlines, easyJet, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, JetBlue, Jetstar, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, S7 Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal and Virgin America.